I’ve been watching all the stuff about tiger woods today, and I think there is an essential and broader point that is being missed.
What happens to people when the go from poor or modest means to very rich.
It goes along with “why did so many rock stars OD”? Why do so many sports stars have affairs, take drugs, gamble, or whatever. You could call it sudden riches syndrome, SRS.
Suppose you go from poor to rich overnight. Of course you buy a nicer house and car etc., but what then. What perks do you personally get for your accomplishments.
Many people have been destroyed by riches. They’ve been struggling for years to get there which gave them direction and purpose, but what now.
Tiger Woods said he felt entitled, and that’s exactly what I’m talking about—you made all that money—shouldn’t you be personally entitled to SOMETHING?
From outside, or from our point of view he has it made. He has all that money, a beautiful wife, and doesn’t have to worry about all the financial things that we do. But that is just seeing it through our eyes.
But from the inside it looks like, I did all this and what do I personally get. A lot of the things we want aren’t very satisfying once we can have them as many times as we want. Once you know that you could go to the wonderful restaurant every night it loses its allure.
So people in this situation tend to go after the subconscious things they could never get. Many beautiful women, more and better drugs, fancy toys, and then when those don’t work anymore they are really up against it. “I must deserve something, but what’s left?”
It is one of the basic existential situations of our culture where what matters most if the external. If this were well known and discussed, it would be easier for these people to know what is happening to them, and we could feel more compassionate for them.